From the Writer
I am currently in the process of writing my first full length novel which I hope to be one of many, called Illé Nirl (Sharing the title of the series with the land in which they are all based).
Illé Nirl has been my creation for years, ever since I began writing it is where all of my stories have been based, including the published Gahil’s Love (which originally was much different to the published, shorter, version today). Now I wish to share it with all of you, right to the height of the fantasy. Here is a sample of the upcoming title, which features some of my created fantasy creatures, lands, and ideas. This is the prologue, featuring the rise of the dark master of Dolge.
K. W. Rose.
Prologue: Lake Spirit
The land called Dolge had never been tamed; it was a desolate place, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes.
Supposedly the first humans known on the world, the native horsemen called the Akar, would not build in the kingdom of Dolge for three known reasons; it was supposedly sacred, the land where the Black Horse (their incarnation of Death) ruled and kept the spirits, and the flaming mountains kept the spirits inside of its walls. It was also a dangerous land, every few years one of the hundreds of volcanoes erupted and covered a large section of the kingdom in ash and lava. Their last reason was their enemies, the Grulf, native creatures to Dolge and one of the Akar’s greatest opponents. While individually the Grulf were weak and feeble, they spawned like flies and easily stood as ten Grulf to each Akar in numbers. So Dolge was left unattended by humans: for almost one thousand years the kingdom sat silently while the outside world developed and created civilisation.
The native horsemen abandoned their hopes for Dolge, and fought for the western world for a thousand years, until they abandoned the plains in the west to move east, to the deserts where they lived in solitude. Now the western world was home to native northmen who had called themselves Zakan’Dùt, and a race of humanoids called Daesir. There had been wars between the peoples, there had been great deaths and greater victories, genocides and war crimes, murders and assassinations, but from the years 1007 to 1030 there had been a respectable amount of peace.
Then, in 1030, a terror fell on the sleepy kingdom called Dolge. While the peoples of Dolge, the Grulf, had lived in peace for longer than the rest of the western world, disturbed only occasionally by humans and Daesir, during the summer of 1030, monstrous creatures descended from the skies, creatures which humans had named ‘dragons’. The Grulf and their allies alike fought against the dragons for that age, for over one thousand years. But the dragons could not be pushed back and they could not be defeated as easily as the horsemen Grulf were accustomed to fighting. It seemed as though all hope were lost for the Grulf, many tried to flee and others were preparing for one great, final assault. Then, when the Grulf prepared to die fighting, news came from the lone volcano broken from the chain surrounding the kingdom, the volcano named after the fortress at its base: Shiak. It was delivered by a mountaineering Dreumar, who were allies to the Grulf but refused to fight the dragons who they saw as sacred. The mountaineer reported of a spirit in the boiling waters.
He lead eight Grulf up the volcano: two were soothsayers, two were mages, three were soldiers, and one was a standard-bearer. Arriving at the summit, the Dreumar lead them into a chasm which fell down into the volcano. There was no magma, no fire, the walls were hot but they could walk on the floor without their boots catching fire. At last they came to a lake of bubbling water, the only light in the cave was from the Grulf’s torches. But in the centre of the lake was a strange aura of darkness, as though something were pulling the light into it and destroying it. They could not see the strange darkness, nor would the light touch it when it moved. This was the spirit, the mages and soothsayers had never seen one before, but they knew it was a powerful entity.
“Glorious spirit, please speak your name so we may recognise you!” one of the Grulf mages shouted across the water.
The spirit was still, and the boiling water burst up in some places like exploding magma. Some of the Grulf stepped away in fear.
“Are you of Dolge, or did you come with the dragons? Are you a leader or a follower of your kind?” one of the soothsayers asked.
The spirit was silent, but moved gently across the water, coming closer to the Grulf. The closer the spirit came, their torches began to flicker, some were almost extinguished, and the light was pulled towards the water. When the spirit was close enough to hit with an arrow, the air turned icy and thin, one of the Grulf soldiers fainted for a moment and fell into the boiling lake, screaming as his flesh crisped and his life faded.
“Spirit, do you haunt us?” the standard-bearer asked.
The spirit stopped about ten paces away from them. It was still and silent, as though judging them or preparing for something. The soldiers readied themselves, the standard-bearer pierced his banner into the ground and drew his mace, the soothsayers and mages stood back and watched, and the mountaineer had moved to the edge of the cave, watching what unfolded. Suddenly a mighty voice shouted through the cavern, it was deep and powerful, haunting and yet almost celestial.
“I am Othor, Lord of Dolge. A lord is not spoken to by a standard-bearer nor common soldier!” the spirit hissed.
Before anyone could act, Othor lunged forwards and consumed the standard-bearer in his darkness. Though the bearer tried to fight the spirit, Othor entered his lungs and drew the oxygen from them. In minutes, the Grulf suffocated.
“Now, do I look like a leader or a follower to you?” Othor asked.
“Forgive us, O great leader!” one of the soothsayers shouted.
“We seek your leadership now, great leader, we are in troubled times against our greatest foes and the foes of Dolge, the dragons!” a mage said.
“Your troubles do not concern Dolge, nor me.” Othor said. “Begone, spawn of servants. The dragons do not threaten my land.”
The spirit began to fade away, floating back into the lake.
“It is true, my lord, but perhaps you seek something we can give you? We can give you power, might, a kingdom!” the Grulf said.
“I am might. I am power. I have my kingdom. Dolge is mine, your kind infest it.” Othor said.
“What about gold, jewels, silver, you could be rich beyond your imagination!” the Grulf said.
“Neither petty jewels nor rich metals I seek.” Othor said.
“What about another kingdom?” the Grulf asked.
“Another kingdom?” Othor repeated, his voice torn with wonder.
“Yes, my lord. You are powerful, my liege, but perhaps not all powerful, not enough to take a kingdom alone. If you would save us from the dragons, we will aid you in conquering anywhere you wish.” the Grulf said.
“Dolge is great and powerful.” Othor said. “But Har is greater yet. If you would do as I ask, perhaps I would save you.” Othor said.
“We will, my lord.” the Grulf said.
“Maybe. To prove your loyalty…” Othor was silent for a moment, then a length of shadow extended from his form and pointed toward the Dreumar mountaineer. “kill him.”
The Grulf hurried before the Dreumar could take arms: he was too skilled of a warrior even against the numbers of Grulf. The mages and warriors knocked the Dreumar down before he drew his sword, then held him down and slit his throat. When the deed was done they pulled him over to the water’s edge and presented him to Othor.
“Worthless peons,” Othor hissed, “but with a leader, perhaps you shall be an army worthy my kingdom. Hold an oath in alliance to me and I shall return to a physical form. Swear your loyalty to me, your obedience, until death relieve you.”
“We swear it, my liege, until death takes us or our lord.” the Grulf said.
“No.” Othor hissed. “Death cannot take me.” he laughed, then the spirit seemed to become smaller for a moment, only as large as a human hand. But as his size reduced, the body of the Dreumar grew until it was almost seven foot long and its muscles built. At last, when the body seemed to stop growing, Othor plunged through the flesh of the corpse and vanished. In a moment the slit on the corpse healed and the body arose, only the eyes were pale as milk, his skin was as cold as ice, and his black hair turned green-brown. A moment later his cheeks pulled in gaunt and his face was completely reconstructed. It became older, with deeper eye sockets and a longer, pointed nose. His body was changing to a new person.
“I am Othor, the King of Dolge.” he said. “This is my form. Where are my sons?”
“Sons?” a Grulf mage whispered.
“Yes, Rilfin and Nadris.” Othor said. “I remember them now. The bastard and my darling boy. It wasn’t long ago. I must find them.”
“But, my liege, Dolge is in danger!” the mage said.
“And your oppressors are my allies. They shall aid us both.” Othor said. From the ground a black wisp of spirit like Othor was rose up and took the form of a maul. Othor grasped this and it became real, made from metal and bone. Othor called his maul Tyrant, and with it he left the cavern, his new servants following him.
Othor met with the dragons in their favourite lair, atop the largest volcano on the edge of Dolge. Their leader was one called Ragyroth, a great amber dragon and the father of the others.
“I am the King of this land. Who dares question my authority?” Ragyroth asked.
“I am Dolge itself, incarnated as this immortal being.” Othor said. “I lived here ten thousand years ago, under a different name and under a false king, before there were Grulf or humans or Daesir, but I knew some dragons. The false king was pitiful, but his army was great, so I made an ally with a dragon called Xarag, who defeated the greater defences and I put this maul through the king’s head.”
“I know Xarag, I know he lived here, and I am his grandson. I come to claim it in his name.” Ragyroth said.
“Perhaps this is your land, or perhaps you deserve somewhere better.” Othor said. “There are high mountains in Zhar, and great lands for you to hunt in. Aid me first, and my armies and myself will help you to defeat Zhar, or any other kingdom you wish to possess.”
“And if we refuse?” Ragyroth asked. “We like this kingdom as our own.”
“If you refuse then I will kill you first. I accept that some of your dragons will kill me eventually, but I can and will kill more of them first.” Othor said.
“Lies, who can match a dragon?” Ragyroth asked.
Othor raised his maul and was quicker than the dragons had expected. In an instant he knocked Ragyroth to the ground, then spun and smashed the hammer head down on Ragyroth’s lieutenant, destroying the beast’s head. When other dragons approached, Othor had already recomposed himself, ready to strike again.
“As proof of my skill.” Othor said, pointing to the corpse. “Will you aid me, or should many old allies die?”
Othor and the dragons spoke for a long while, but an agreement was finally made. The Grulf and dragons became allies, with Othor and Ragyroth as leaders, Othor the greater leader. Othor began to rebuild his kingdom and create one greater than he knew ten thousand years ago. But it was only thirty years ago that his first son was born.